Nonprofit VOTE’s 2010 study demonstrates the effectiveness of in-agency nonprofit voter engagement work. During the 2010 midterm election, Dr. Kelly LeRoux of the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted research on the impact nonprofits have when they talk to their clients and constituents about voting. The study, supported by Nonprofit VOTE and the Michigan Nonprofit Association, showed that when nonprofits discussed voting with their clients, they were not only more likely to vote, but also more likely to talk to their friends and family about voting.
Nonprofits Increase Voting
This factsheet summarizes the findings from Nonprofit VOTE’s recent study on nonprofit voter engagement in Detroit, Michigan. Use it to share the impact and importance of voter engagement with your staff, stakeholders, and other nonprofits in your network.
- Download “Nonprofits Increase Voting” Factsheet
- Download “Nonprofits Strengthening Democracy” (Full Report)
- See Nonprofit VOTE’s complete factsheet series.
Webinars and Presentations
Nonprofits Increase Voter Participation: New Research from the Field
Professor Kelly LeRoux discusses her work documenting the impact nonprofits have when they talk to their clients and constituents about voting.
America Goes to the Polls 2010
America Goes to the Polls is the only publication that ranks the 50 states (and the District of Columbia) according to voter turnout rates. It also ranks turnout growth for each state compared to the previous midterm election. To do so, it uses the certified voter turnout for the 2010 midterm election—as reported by state election offices—and estimates of voting eligible population from the U.S. Elections Project.
Beyond the rankings, America Goes to the Polls reports on key voting trends such as the wide gap in youth turnout between presidential and midterm elections, the rise in early voting, and the continued growth of the Latino electorate. The report concludes with a discussion of issues related to voter registration and early voting, and their potential to improve—or hinder—future voter participation.
Voter Turnout Reports for Past Elections
National and State Turnout Data
The U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University, headed by Professor Michael McDonald, is the best source of information for state and national voter turnout dating back to the 1980 presidential election. It features state-by-state turnout statistics, based on official results reported by state elections offices.
The US Census site has estimates of voter turnout and voter registration, based on post-election survey data of midterm and presidential elections. Census survey numbers are broken down by several variables, including state, ethnicity, gender, age, and educational attainment.
ANES’s mission is “producing high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation to serve the research needs of those who wish to better understand the foundations of national election outcomes.” ANES provides biennial studies of voter and election participation including “Political Involvement and Participation in Politics”.
States and Counties
You can find a wealth of voter registration and voter turnout data on your state’s elections website. Voter registration data is often listed in a separate “Voter Registration” section, while turnout information is generally contained within election results. Keep in mind that states vary in how they calculate their turnout data and the number of people casting certified and counted ballots.
Visit your county or city board of elections for similar voter registration and turnout statistics.
The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is the largest source of voter turnout information around the world.
National Election Exit Polls
National Election Exit polls are conducted by Edison Research for national media outlets. As reported by CNN: